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Why We Crave Horror Movies by Stephen King
Transcript of Why We Crave Horror Movies by Stephen King
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
writer of horror novels
"some hysterical fear – of snakes, the dark, the tight place, the long drop" (209)
metaphors, allusion, irony, anaphora, etc.
The Way out
American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy
University of Maine
Why We Crave Horror Movies
Every person in the world has a bit of insanity inside of them.
"I think that we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better, after all." (209)
"If we share a brotherhood of man, then we also share an
insanity of man." (211)
"horror movies, like roller coasters, have always been the special province of the young; by the time one turns 40 or 50, one’s appetite for double twists or 360-degree loops may be considerably depleted." (209)
"“What’s the difference between a truckload of bowling balls and a truckload of dead babies?” (You can’t unload a truckload of bowling balls with a pitchfork . . .)" (211)
"When we pay our four or five bucks and seat ourselves at tenth-row center in a theater showing a horror movie, we are daring the nightmare." (209)
mentioning real life murderers such as Jack the Ripper and the Cleveland Torso Murderer
anaphora: "people who talk to themselves, people who sometimes squinch their faces into horrible grimaces when they believe no one is watching, people who have some hysterical fear.."
metaphors: horror movies to roller coaster, alligators to our insanity
allusion: "Freda Jackson... in Die, Monster, Die!" and "Lennon and McCartney who said that all you need is love"
onomatopoeia: "If your insanity leads you to carve up women like Jack the Ripper or the Cleveland Torso Murderer, we clap you away in the funny farm (but neither of those two amateur-night surgeons was ever caught, heh-heh-heh)"
irony: comparing best horror films with the best fairy tales
antithesis: "excluding saints, past and present; but then, most saints have been crazy in their own ways"
personification: "Our emotions and our fears form their own body, and we recognize that it demands its own exercise to maintain proper muscle tone."
describing death: "those final worms and grubs that are waiting so patiently underground"
relationships people look for: love, friendship, loyalty, kindness
word usage of "crave" in the title and "gators" to compare our insanity
advice: "As long as you keep the gators fed." (211)
published in Playboy magazine in 1982
In this essay Stephen King proposes three causes for why people crave horror movies
- to prove they can sit through the whole movie
- to reassure themselves that they are normal
- people enjoy seeing others in danger
he believes that we are all crazy, and horror movies allow us a chance to indulge in that sick imagination of ours, as well as cage that “hungry” part of our brain
strong diction and syntax choices